Mayor de Blasio has it right — and, yes, you’re reading a Post editorial.
New York City’s problem right now is not the inevitable, even necessary, peaceful protests. “The problem has been folks who are clearly trying to incite violence against the police and create vandalism and property damage. They’re a small number, but they’re clearly very motivated and very violent,” de Blasio said Sunday.
And they’re largely out-of-towners “coming from outside the neighborhoods that are raising the concerns peacefully and trying to create a violent, negative situation with police.”
That doesn’t mean that some locals aren’t joining in on the violence; the city has its own idiots — trust-fund Trotskyites, for starters. But here as elsewhere, the worst confrontations reeks of the roving radicals who rush in to turn protests into riots in some demented dream of fomenting full-on revolution.
They’ve been doing it at least since the anti-globalization protests of the ’90s, all the way to the Ferguson, Mo., and Baltimore protests of 2014-15. Whatever they say, their true agenda isn’t economic or racial justice — it’s chaos and destruction.
The same nihilism fed off the idealism of the 1960s to produce the sheer terrorism of the Weathermen bombings and the Brinks assassinations.
To quote the mayor again: “This is not the American progressive protest tradition. This is not the tradition of Dr. King. It’s dangerous, it’s counterproductive. It puts the lives, particularly of young men of color, in danger if it creates deeper tension between police and community. It puts the lives of police officers in danger. So, no, this does not represent our values, and it has to be addressed very forthrightly.”
And the NYPD, in the face of this threat, has overall shown enormous restraint. Even that video of the police van driving into a crowd has important context, as the mayor noted to WINS: “A small group of motivated, violent people” has “been surrounding police cars, surrounding police vans, attempting to do violence to police officers and to the vehicles. And that’s exactly what you saw in that video … [The cops] were being surrounded by people who are attacking that vehicle as they were in a situation where it was getting more and more dangerous, and they had to get out of there . . . If those protesters had just gotten out of the way … we would not be talking about this situation.”
With a national network of would-be revolutionaries looking to exploit the righteous anger over George Floyd and other clear victims of excessive police force, it’s entirely appropriate for the feds to step in — as the Eastern District did in charging Samantha Shader.
Video shows Shader hurling a Molotov cocktail at a police van in Brooklyn late Friday night — plainly intending grievous harm to the four cops inside. Her sister, Darian, then jumped in to try to prevent Samantha’s arrest.
The Shaders, incidentally, hail from Catskill, 120 miles north of the city — perfectly fitting de Blasio’s profile of people coming from outside the community to sow chaos.
Police arrested Samantha on four counts of attempted murder of a police officer, plus attempted arson, assault on a cop, criminal possession of a weapon and reckless endangerment — and Darian for resisting arrest and obstruction of governmental administration.
But the Brooklyn DA has yet to file any charges. Instead, the feds stepped in, hitting Samantha with property-damage charges that would mean a sentence of five to 20 years if convicted. She may yet face stiffer charges — we certainly see “attempted murder” as appropriate: Even though her Molotov turned out to be a dud, her intent was murderous.
Local prosecutors have been rushing left in recent years, and we fear they won’t get tough on the radicals pushing violence. But someone needs to throw the book at everyone apprehended for striving to turn peaceful protests into a conflagration.
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